Rwandans urged to save as nation marks World Savings Day

Rwandans have been challenged to adapt a saving culture if they to be able to accumulate capital for investment and help the country achieve its development agenda.

Rwandans have been challenged to adapt a saving culture if they to be able to accumulate capital for investment and help the country achieve its development agenda.

Finance Minister Amb. Claver Gatete noted that embracing the saving spirit is one of the best ways of reducing the savings-investment gaps.

“People need to know that to develop, you need to take saving as a habit,” he said in an interview.

According to the Finance Ministry latest figure, the art of savings is at a meager 9.7 per cent of Rwanda’s Gross Domestic Product.

“We have to plan properly if we are to achieve the targeted 20 per cent level of savings by 2020 in order to achieve our investment of 30 per cent Gross Domestic Product ratio by 2020. This is how we can become a middle income country by 2020,” said Gatete.

The remarks came ahead of the World Savings Day scheduled for October 31. It celebrates what savings can do for individuals, companies and countries. The day is designed to encourage people to save, particularly the poor. To mark the day, the Ministry of Finance has organised a week of events, from October 31 to November 7. The activities are aimed at promoting a saving culture in line with the country’s internal savings and mobilisation strategy.

“We shall do it in a participatory manner, where we have to use instruments like the media, interviews and through the official statement of government on October 31,” the minister said.

“This will make people think about how savings can help them and how their savings can propel economic development of the country,” he pointed out.

Since 2008, Rwanda has witnessed a remarkable 46 per cent decrease in financial exclusion among citizens. However, 1.3 million Rwandans remain excluded from formal and informal financial services ,according to last year’s Finscope survey.

“Much of the awareness has to be created outside Kigali as many of the city dwellers are already saving. We shall carry out campaigns and door-to-door drives among people outside the city during the week,” said Sanjeev Anand, the managing director of I&M Bank Rwanda.

Anand said savings were important to the bank and individuals, indicating that as of September, the bank had accumulated  Rwf3b from savings deposits.

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